A Travellerspoint blog

Tilting at Windmills

...the camera that is.

13th June, 2022
Room 1004, Parador de Manzanares

Some memories to record which may get forgotten otherwise. On today's ramble through the La Mancha countryside, right in front of us (had to brake to avoid them) was a little family of partridges. Aka The Partridge Family. Boom boom. 12 little dots plus Mum worrying them across the road, as fast as their little legs would take them. No time to get the camera focused, of course.

And an observation that, in many fields of both olives and vines, and sometimes barley, we've puzzled over the fact there are small solar panels dotted about, most with little huts, some without. We've even seen them over one of those the big wine containers. We speculated that the panels maybe to power pumps for irrigation purposes. Any ideas please? And what ARE those wine containers called? You see them everywhere here. This is a picture of our current Parador at Manzanares, with one in the roundabout.


Back in Chinchón, it's worth showing a few photos from the lovely gardens, right by the swimming pool, at this fab Parador. A visit to it, right in the centre of Chinchón is well worth the trip. It's the smartest of the Paradors we've visited on this trip,


Yesterday started with a bit of a disaaaster. We wheeled our bags over the cobbles to the Parador garage round the corner, loaded the car up, waited for the big doors to open as if by magic and there, over the road from the entrance was a car parked leaving insufficient room (it turned out) to exit the garage. A few toots resulted in much arm waving from the lady driver (casting no aspertions here!) and no sign of her moving. So John decided to go for it.... SCRAPE, along the side of our immaculate car. It turned out the woman was waiting for the car in front to move, but she could have told us that! (Note, some miles on, we stopped at a petrol station to refuel and they were selling scratch repair stuff in a tube. A couple of minutes applying that and virtually all the damage all-but disappeared. Even so, it was not the best of starts to the day.)

We carried on as regardless as we could in our quest for Manchego windmills and towns, and found a few of interest. There was even the obligatory storks' nest on top of a church spire. (It's a good job they don't come down to Murcia as I don't think our chimney could take the weight!)


We stopped at a delightful little town that Arthur insisted on calling Orgazm, despite their having dropped the 'm' ages ago. We saw quite a few people coming out of the church and we were joined outside the cafe by some of the smartly dressed lady churchgoers.


The famous windmills at Consuegra:-


We arrived at this modern Parador which has tons of parking, only to find virtually every space taken. It being the weekend, there were two 'celebraciones´ going on. A huge one for someone's first communion and another, a kid's birthday party, leaving little room for the Parador guests to either park or eat! Here is some of the parking available today. There must have been at least 100 cars parked up yesterday. Spaniards do like their big celebrations.


Today we had a route carefully planned. Firstly to go and visit the capital of this province, Ciudad Real. But with 40º forecast, we decided to skip the big city. We carried on with our plan to visit what is probably our favourite town here, Almagro, and its lovely Parador. We had a coffee in the bustling Plaza Mayor, then a drink in the cool of the Parador. And, yes, we even caught one man smoking AND eating at the same time.

On the way, crates of onions, we think:-






We then decided to drive to have a look at the important wine town of Valdepeñas and then Villanueva de los infantes (or INFATNES, as one big traffic sign had it).

Well, we couldn't find our way into the centre of Valdepeñas as a tunnel under the railway was closed and no sensible alternative route was signposted apart from one that appeared to go through a factory.

Then we got to the very interesting town of "Infantes" but found nowhere to park within walking distance of the interesting bits (bearing in mind it was 39º outside!).


So we decided to come back to Manzanares, via the centre to check out a restaurant for this evening. Well, that didn't go too well either. We had fond memories of visiting the Manchego Cheese Museum here but have discovered that it's closed on Mondays, of course. As we drove in, we found the outskirts of the town to be ugly. The centre is a maze of narrow whitewashed streets and our GPS tried to take us down one way streets the wrong way. Clearly someone at the Ayuntamiento has recently come up with a new cunning street plan for the centre. She took us down a road, promising the restaurant was at the end, only to find our way out to be blocked by newly placed planters, making this long street a dead end, unmarked as such. Luckily we only had to reverse a couple of hundred yards before doing a 67 point turn to get out of the place! We eventually found the restaurant, and it had closed down!

Despite all of these "adventures" we had a thoroughly enjoyable day, letting our luck take us to places and along roads we would not have explored and sights we would not have seen otherwise.

Tomorrow, the challenge of getting up to the castle on top of Jaén, where the Parador is located.


Posted by Johnash 14:34 Archived in Spain Tagged molinos parador manzanares manchego la_mancha

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As you say an exciting/ challenging/different day! Sorry about the car but glad it's ok and you were able to hone your driving skills!!.

by Maggie P

Hi there!
At least in Latin America those wine containers are called TINAJAS

by Gabriela

Gabriela - they seem to be called that here too! Thank you. And thanks Maggie and you all for your welcome comments.

by Johnash

What an adventure! Love seeing the windmills and reading about your spontaneity in determining which way to go, what to skip, etc. There's a lot to be said for that kind of travel -- making you open to all kinds of serendipity!

by Linda Ketterer

Nice to have a day pottering, going where you feel like, when you like (& keeping out of the heat)! Lovely to see storks'n'windmills, & Almagro looks well worth a visit too. Stay cool, & safe travels on to Jaen ...

by Ian T.

Quite a Monday you had. We've had the closed Monday problems ourselves usually when we have visitors 😂. Your pics of the wonderful windmills are so much better than our mini version taken from the motorway. We saw lots of interesting things on our way to Toledo but all from a long way away. It's been lovely to see exactly what we missed. Hope today, Tuesday, has been a lot less frustrating for you xx

by Sue and Gordon

Thanks for taking me with you on a road trip through the REAL Spain, a Spain that most tourists rarely see. Strange to read of your parking problems, narrow streets and inadequate or non existent road signage - I thought I was the only person to encounter such scenarios!

by Mike Cook

Thank you so much for all your comments. They really are appreciated. We are home now and will wrap up the Blog over the weekend.

by Johnash

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